Janis Wilson Hughes found herself struggling to find fulfillment working in chemical engineering after working in the field for 11+ years. She had dreamed of being an engineer since she was a young woman and went through the rigorous training to get her to where she was – yet, she found herself extremely unhappy and not entirely sure why she was doing what she was doing.
After transferring, moving cities and trying out different roles within her company, she ultimately made the decision to leave the corporate world entirely to pursue her passion for clay. She is now a fulltime ceramic artist and owner of Evolution Stoneware Pottery. And – she never really looked back after that.
Janis’ process of making the decision to leave chemical engineering was not instant. When she was offered her job, right out of college, she knew deep down that it was not the right fit for her, but it took her a decade to admit it to herself. How many of us can relate to knowing that something isn’t right, but we find every excuse besides listening to our gut?
What impresses me about Janis is that, in the end, she listened – and in the process she also learned so much about herself, how she wanted to be in the world and what she valued the most.
In the podcast episode we talk about how you navigate a change, when you discover that your dream has changed, how you learn to listen to your inner truths and the importance in self love. Listen below to learn more about Janis’s Chapter Be story…
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
Worst work experience?
Oh my…It’s hard to choose on this one. I’m sure the really bad ones don’t even pop to mind because I’ve suppressed them. Working 12 hour night shifts from 6pm to 6am as a process engineer wearing steel toed shoes, an ugly uniform, hair net, and ear plugs in a maxi pad factory was pretty awful. In the winter it might be 30F below zero when I left in the morning. While on duty I had to wear a pager so that I could be reached if I went to the bathroom or the cafeteria. It was a far cry from the cutting edge research I pictured myself doing while I was in chemical engineering school!
While I was in college one summer I worked in a factory for an architectural company making window sections that would later be assembled into sky scrapers. I started work at 4:30am because the warehouse we worked in wasn’t air conditioned, and it got hot. I crawled around on the floor under huge, horizontal window frames sealing them with a pneumatic calk gun. I came home horribly dirty and with dried calk in my hair every day. There’s no way I could physically do that job at my age now!
What is your definition of success?
Knowing you’ve done your best in the moment and been true to your highest self is my definition of success.
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
I have a lot of ‘creative energy’, so when I’m drained of creativity in the area of my work I allow myself to take some time off. I try to spend some time in nature – in the woods hiking ideally. And during the time off I play – I try something new that I’ve wanted to do – like making something fun for myself like a ceramic drum, play music, read, and veg out. By playing in some other areas, I recharge my creative batteries for my work.
What does “to be” mean to you?
Being present in the current moment and not distracted by the past or the future is the essence of ‘to be’ to me. That means actually doing the things I care about now.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
I see what friends are up to on Facebook and watch TV. Sometimes if I really can’t bring myself to do something I think I need to do, I’ll find myself cleaning instead. You could say I procrastinate by playing and cuddling with my dogs, but I actually prioritize that time over other activities because it makes me happy.
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
- Harry Potter Series
- A Course In Miracles
- Tao Te Ching
- Living Nonduality
- Between the Gates – Lucid Dreaming
- You Are Here (Thich Nhat Hanh)
- Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life & The Power of Intention (Wayne Dyer)
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- Jane Austin compilation
- Key of Mystery series
- Hay House World Summit podcast
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
She’s Got To Be by Amy Ray
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- Evolution Stoneware Pottery
- Evolution Stoneware’s Youtube channel
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Quarter Life Crisis
- Rick McKinney – Fired Earth Pottery
- Janis’s tutorial dvds
Images via Janis Wilson Hughes